Leeds City Council staff are being invited to ‘Wear Red at Work’ on Thursday 1st December 2016. And that’s an offer being shared with everyone else too! Jonathan Sharp, who works in the Public Health team, tells us more…
On the 1st December each year we celebrate World AIDS Day. It is a chance to unite with millions of people across the world to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS, challenge discrimination and stigma and remember those who have died.
World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day starting in 1988. At this time there was no treatment for HIV positive people which meant it was a terminal illness. The good news is that there have been significant scientific advances in HIV testing and treatment and now in 2016 it is seen as a long term health condition. Early diagnosis of HIV means people can stay healthy and have a normal lifespan. There is legislation to protect people living with HIV and better understanding of the condition. But with around 6,000 more people being diagnosed every year in the UK there is clearly a need for continued education and awareness raising.
As a city Leeds has a larger number of people living with HIV than the national average. We have the highest number of new HIV diagnoses in the Yorkshire and Humber Region. For every 1000 people living in the city it is estimated that 2.48 will be HIV positive and around half of people diagnosed with HIV in Leeds in 2015 were diagnosed late. This means they are more likely to experience complex health issues which early diagnosis and medication can prevent. We also have evidence to believe 1 in 4 people nationally who are HIV positive aren’t aware of their status.
Leeds City Council and its partners are supporting World AIDS Day this year via a range of activities. A host of Leeds landmarks will be lit red in support on 1st December including the Civic Hall, the Town Hall and the Inner Ring Road Tunnel, the first direct arena, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds University’s’ Parkinson Building and the Merrion Centre.
How can I show support for World Aids Day?
As an individual you can simply wear red to show your support, raise awareness of HIV and AIDS and challenging stigma.
Are you HIV Aware? Find out by taking the UK World AIDS Day quiz. Reliable, trustworthy information from NAT (National AIDS Trust) http://www.hivawarequiz.org.uk/quiz-4/about-you
For more information about HIV testing opportunities in Leeds visit www.leedssexulahealth.com
For more Information about World AIDS day visit: www.worldaidsday.org